Loaves and Fishes at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church began in 2014 under the auspices of Love, Inc. and under the direction of our members. A number of churches in the area committed to one evening of the month with our church deciding upon Monday evening. The purpose of this meal was to serve the needy whose employment was seasonal and would, therefore, be out of work for the period of time from January through March. All were welcomed and fed, second helpings offered and carry-outs were given when the food supply allowed. Prayer was always offered before the meal. Friendships were formed as volunteers from Hideaway and Kimberling City locations with the help of the Gateways Girls and St. Mark's Episcopal Church prepared, served, mingled with the guests, and cleaned up after the meal. Due to the limited space in the dining hall at St. Mark's and at the Hideaway locations, all shared in this project at Kimberling City. This sharing provided another avenue of making Christian friends with more of God's people. In 2016, a total of 1200 meals were shared in the 13 weeks the meals were served. So many people volunteered, the facilitator’s schedule included not only people for all the necessary tasks, but substitutes in case someone might not be able to make it on a given night!! Everyone wanted to be involved! It is important to note that the scheduling was carefully rotated to include everyone wishing to be a part of the activity.
St. Andrew participated with Love, INC. (Love in the Name of Christ) with the distribution of clothes and toys to needy families for many years. The participations from members and friends from both locations have been outstanding in the areas of both donations of the gifts and time spent on location. Time on location includes several stages. In the recent past, the first stage was helping to go through the files and make telephone calls to find the people who qualified for assistance. This stage is no longer necessary due to technology. Next came the stage where the area had to be set up with the clothes and toys by age and size. Finally, the days came when the people arrived...and, the volunteers were there with smiles to assist them as they were taken from station to station to select the appropriate gifts and clothing items for their family members.
Throughout this yearly process as many as 14 people from our two locations would give as many as 210 hours helping with this worthwhile project. Again, much care was given between St. Andrew and Love, INC. to ensure volunteers were recruited from both locations and all volunteers were welcomed and recognized for their participation.
Legacy Gardens includes two gardening spaces for the community to use for planting. One space is on the Kimberling City church property, and the second one is in Reeds Spring. The dirt used for the gardens was donated by Hansen's and some of the seedlings were donated by the students at Reeds Spring High School. The sprinkler system for both gardens was donated by members from both locations. A combined total of 76, 4' by 4' spaces are available for people to plant their choice of either flowers or vegetables at either location. But, they must sign up for their space each year. Spaces are allotted until they are all assigned. A facilitator oversees this project and, along with help from people from both locations, makes sure that the sprinkler system is functioning properly and all is well with the project.
Each year for many years, a budgeted amount has been given to Christian Associates for the Food Pantry to provide food for the hungry. In times past, we would have food drives and donate what was gathered to Christian Associates, but, because they could buy so much more in bulk with money donated, we stopped that element and made it a budgeted financial gift. However, Super Bowl Sunday (described under Special Offerings), gives us the opportunity to give a little bit more!
In January, we have Super Bowl Sunday. Fun is had by making a big deal over voting for our favorite team. It is hoped that the team’s container holding the most money will also be the winner of the actual Super Bowl game! The money collected from both the winning and losing containers is given to the Food Pantry.
On Palm Sunday, usually in March, One Great Hour of Sharing is observed. We give for the purpose of helping aid the work for the self development of people and work with the economically poor. In the year 2015, $840.00 was given by the members and friends. In the year 2016, a total of $550.00 has been given. In November and December, we prepare for the Joy Offering. The Joy Offering supports Presbyterian world missions and the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions. These two opportunities for giving are provided to us through the Presbytery. Many additional opportunities for giving are taken advantage of through our mission projects.
Every Communion Sunday a freewill offering is taken for the Food Pantry.
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church is so blessed to have within its membership a family who operates a home for young woman ages 10-19 which provides treatment in a compassionate, structured and supervised environment. The purpose is to help the girls in their progress in becoming productive and independent members of society. Within a homelike setting, with a focus on independent living and life skills, the young women are provided with individual and small group counseling and other programs that promote their personal growth.
They attend most regularly at the Kimberling City campus and attend special events at Hideaway. Members at both locations enjoy a number of different types of associations with the girls from birthday and Christmas parties to taking them to doctor visits and special outings. We have even had the privilege of having the girls fix special dinners for us at the Home. They are a big help at special events such as the Valentine's Day Dinner and Loaves and Fishes where they assist in serving and clearing. These special times provide a reciprocal enjoyment and blessing for all of us.
This is another of our mission projects that falls under the auspices of Love, INC. Families sign up to receive free school supplies which are donated by the churches, then sorted by item by volunteers from the churches. We have for many years participated in each step of the program during the months of June, July and August. The easy, but essential first step is buying and amassing the school supplies. The nitty-gritty begins at the High School when the sorting begins--pencils here, erasers there, etc.!
Then comes putting the supplies in to the back packs and stacking them according to age and school as requested. The final stage is the third day when the students and their parents arrive to claim the filled back packs! Needless to say, this process takes lots of volunteers and lots of hours. And, Kimberling City and Hideaway can always be counted on to be there to help! In 2015, six people gave 30 hours of their time, and many more donated materials and back packs in order to make this project a success.
A couple of years ago, the Mission Committee decided they wanted to give money to the schools to help the children who needed items of clothing. School counselors from Blue Eye and Reeds Spring were called. It was learned from both that there was a great need for money to buy shoes for their shoe closets. They restock the shelves in their shoe closets each summer and as needed throughout the year so that when children are in need, they can take them privately to the area to select a new pair of shoes.
Thank you notes have been received from both schools and can be found at certain times on our bulletin boards. $500.00 is in the Mission budget for this project to be divided between the two school districts. This, like many of our mission projects, is an item that is voted on each year by the committee as to whether or not to continue.
The idea for the Hygiene Kits came from the request from the Presbytery for disaster relief. Although one kit is sent to each meeting of the Presbytery in Springfield, it was decided to complete more kits to distribute locally. At this point in time, 36 kits have been assembled and given to Christian Associates to be given to the homeless, to PEEP's (Peers Encouraging and Empowering Peers) to be given to people recovering from alcoholism and addictions of various kinds and to Burrell Detox Center.
We have two more kits ready to distribute and more materials are needed to put together with items we have on hand. The delivery of these kits has met with so much appreciation; it has been heart-warming to see we have been able to fill a need. This project, like many of our projects, involved the time and donations from members and friends from both locations, was not a budgeted item, and was a source of great reward for all who participated as well as those who received.
Everyone looks forward to the selecting of the bells or the angels off the tree at Christmastime--shall I buy the clothes or the toys this year--or, both? Then the wrapping, marking and delivering to the families who were previously selected according to needs. We know it is important to those receiving because their Christmas would be quite slim without the help, but our part in it, our buying, wrapping, and giving, is such fun and so rewarding for giving, not receiving, is the true spirit of Christmas. And, again, this is not a budgeted item, these are gifts given out of love to single moms and their children from all our members and friends.
Not mentioned under separate heading, but a rather important activity has to take place before the bells or angels can be placed on the tree at each location. And, that is the "hanging of the greens" or the decorating of the church and the tree itself. Each location has its special time to do this, but anyone from either location is welcome to take part in this activity.
Although there have been many associations with Table Rock Health Care, this year of 2016, it was decided to have three game days, one on each of the summer months. Our first was in June when four ladies took games and prizes. We met on the outdoor porch area and enjoyed an hour of fun, games and fellowship with the players and the onlookers!
After the games were finished, we presented each player with prizes of their choice. We repeated the procedure inside in July and will see what August brings. So far, dominoes have been the game of choice, but the men have requested checkers for next month! Ladies from both locations took part in these first two trips, and others will be encouraged to help in the remaining month. Again, the ladies brought the prizes, so no money was used from the budget.
The Parish Nurse Program began in November, 1999. This role has been one of extreme importance in the nurture and care of the sick. It is the role of the Parish Nurse to stay in close contact with the pastor and those who are ill, whether at home or in the hospital, to be sure that the needs of all are attended to in a timely manner.
When a person is ill, it is so important for that person to know there is someone who not only cares about them, but is qualified to answer their questions or find the person who can. It is a source of comfort to those in the congregation to know that the Pastor and the Parish Nurse are both there to give comfort to us and to pray for us in times of sickness. We are fortunate to have not only the designated Parish Nurse, but 5 additional trained people.
Mission Possible is a Small Group who developed an outreach mission-- that of helping church members, families, and the community with projects the person(s) cannot handle safely without assistance. In the brochure they have developed, they mention the following as some of the areas in which they might serve others: transportation to doctor appointments, shopping, minor home repairs and simple yard tasks, change light bulbs and smoke alarm batteries, to name a few.
They have a printed business card with their names, phones numbers and mission statement on one side and the information about the church on the other side--very worthwhile information in spreading an outreach invitation to the community. Again, there is no budgeted amount for this group, and their work provides a service to our members and our community. They never charge labor.
Ever since Presbyterian Women was in operation, our church has supported Pregnancy LifeLine by filling baby bottles with change. Pregnancy LifeLine supports pregnant women (and young fathers) who are in need with classes on care during pregnancy and care of the baby after its birth. And, they provide the mother with diapers and clothing at a much reduced cost or free of charge.
Also available are grief support classes for those who have suffered from abortions. So far this year, the generosity of our people in filling the baby bottles has resulted in several hundred dollars for the support of these young mothers.